Quantcast
Latest Stories

Manila to improve zoo, acquire two more elephants

By

Mali. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Coming soon: A bigger, better and modern Manila Zoo and possibly two more elephants to keep Mali, its most popular resident, company.

This was confirmed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on Tuesday, that talks were ongoing for a public-private partnership program with investors from Singapore who would spend P2 billion for the project.

“We will modernize the Manila Zoo,” Estrada said as he also announced that the city government had asked the Sri Lankan government for two more elephants.

Estrada said the city government had requested two more elephants from Sri Lanka to serve as Mali’s companions.

“She’s very smart and playful,” said volunteer caretaker John Chua, a veteran photographer who had taken care of the elephant for 12 years now.

Mali was seen filling up her trunk as she was being sprayed with water by a caretaker. Then the 38-year-old elephant would drink the water or squirt it to her body, much to the delight of the visitors of Manila Zoo.

If the water was trained to one of her feet, Mali would lift that foot and let you wash the underside.

Chua said rumors have reached him that Manila Zoo would be bid out and that Mali has been “sold.”

“Mali is Manila’s property. I am not talking about a deed of sale. It means that whatever campaign a group makes about Mali, you will not object,” Chua said.

He said a person from Manila City Hall had said, “Bakit may iba pa sa Peta na gustong bumili?”

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been calling for Mali’s transfer to an elephant sanctuary, saying that she is sick and lonely at the zoo. Mali was brought to the Philippines in 1977 as a gift to then First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Reached for comment, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada denied the rumored plan to bid out Manila Zoo and transfer Mali to a sanctuary.

“The direct order from the mayor is to clean up and beautify the zoo to serve Manilans better,” said Albert Dichaves, the newly appointed director of the Manila Parks and Recreation Bureau, after feeding Mali with bananas upon Chua’s directions.

Mali would take a banana using her trunk and when you say “Up!” and raise your arm, she would let you put another banana in her mouth.

“We have plans to renovate and upgrade, to have better enclosures and more wildlife. But as far as privatization is concerned, I don’t think the government will allow that,” Dichaves said.

Dichaves said a blood test has shown Mali in good health, “but she’s old, she is beyond the usual life span and a transfer might stress her out.” He added that Mali’s transfer depended on the mayor’s decision.

Peta has disputed the findings of Thai elephant expert Dr. Nikorn Thongtip who said Mali was in the pink of health and reiterated its call for the elephant’s transfer.

“You will send a person to take pictures when Mali is resting then claim she is lonely. Why not take pictures when she’s interacting? She’s lovable and friendly because she has grown comfortable with humans,” Chua said.

He said Peta has been raising the issue every July, because it’s the end of their fiscal year. He said Mali was being used as a fundraiser, which was denied by Peta, saying only the zoo has been making money off Mali.

“Where were you when she needed you? Have you put even a single banana to feed her?” Chua said, referring to Peta.

He added, “Are you really for the welfare of Mali? Then let’s work together.”

Chua said a Sri Lankan diplomat visited Manila Zoo early this year and promised to donate two more elephants if improvements were made on the enclosure.

He added that in America, three elephants would be the minimum requirement for a zoo to maintain an elephant enclosure.

Peta, however, blocked the donation of two more elephants by writing to the Sri Lankan government, Chua said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Elephants , Joseph Estrada , Mali , Manila Zoo , Metro




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement